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Held Hostage by Love.
Author's note: Hi! I'm not new to writing but I am to this website. It's a adventure/romance book and it's different from anything that I've ever wrote before and I'm just experimenting with it for the time being. So I'm hoping you'll give it a chance and read the first couple of posts/chapters and tell me what you think, thanks.
I blinked, just beginning to wake up from what felt like the longest nap in history. Slowly, I opened my eyes and began to sit up on my elbows. My body ached and my head throbbed. Why? I wasn't sure. I couldn't remember anything at the moment.
I took a look around, taking in my surroundings. From what I could see, there were young men running around frantically. I seemed to be in a warehouse of sorts. There were deafening sounds that echoed around me, making me throw my hands up, covering my ears. It sounded like bombs. Lots of them.
Where the hell was I? And who were these people? From what I could guess it seemed like they were fighting. Many of them manned machine guns, firing through small holes in the walls. What was going on? Who were they shooting?
Another look around I noticed a young boy sitting near me, no older than eleven, holding a rifle of his own, trembling and looking around like a scarred little puppy. Even though he was holding the gun, he held it away from him like he was afraid of it. And rightfully so. What kind of people give out guns to young boys?
I nudged his leg lightly, not wanting to scare him any more. He snapped his head towards me, his eyes widening.
"What's happening?" I asked him, trying to sound calm even though I wanted to start screaming. But his frightened expression kept me from doing so.
"She's awake! The girl is awake!" He shouted at the top of his lungs.
I covered my ears once more and winced. "What's going on?!" I tried again.
He continued to scream, "She's awake!", until a boy who looked about my age, seventeen, heard and ran over with a fierce look on his face.
He glanced at me for only a quick second before speaking to the boy , "Ziggy, stay with her and keep an eye on her. Got it?"
The young boy, ZIggy, nodded quickly. I could tell he was trying to appear tough and strong to the older boy but his trembling gave him away.
The older boy knelt down and put a hand on Ziggy's shoulder. His voice softened when he spoke again, "You'll be fine. You're one of the toughest boys here and I trust you to take care of our special... visitor." His words perked up Ziggy, who now had a determined look on his face.
"I will, Jace."
"Hello?! What in the world is going on?!" I shouted this time, in order to be herd over the still exploding bombs and to get their attention.
Ziggy flinched but the Jace boy didn't even look at me. He just gave Ziggy a quick nod and took off in the other direction that he had come from.
"Please! Tell me!" I demanded of the young boy.
He cast me a scared look but shook his head. "I'm sorry. I was told not to."
"By who? Who are you people?!
"Just wait and you'll find out. We have to wait for the others to leave."
I slumped against the wall I was next to, defeated. I obviously wasn't going to know what the hell was going on anytime soon. Soon after, my ears began to get used to the bombs and all the shouting but my head still killed, enough to make me want to go back to sleep. But I couldn't, I wouldn't. Not until I found out what was going on.
No matter how hard I tried to stay awake though, my body's need to rest even though it seemed that's what it had been doing for a while until I woke up a few minutes ago won and I began to drift away...
"Lissa!" whisper-shouted Leo, my best friend. He motioned for me to come closer to him, where he was crouching down in front of the door that was connected to the courtroom where our countries heads were all discussing the latest issue.
I walked over and knelt down beside him. I hissed at him, "What one earth are you doing? You could get us both in trouble!"
His eyes sparkled with mischief, "Only if we get caught." That was your every day Leo though, always in the middle of doing something that he wasn't suppose to.
He had jet black hair and shinning blue eyes, he was about my height which was a little over five foot seven and he was very skinny.He had been my best friend since I was born, and we had grown up together, both of us living in the palace. His father was the prime minister and mine, the king.
That was probably the reason we had always stuck by each other through thick in thin. No, not because we didn't think others were worthy of being our friends because we came from such important families, which we didn't think, but because you learn over time that most people only want to befriend you for personal reasons, trying to get ahead in life and are using you to do so. So we stuck close, only being able to trust each other.
I rolled my eyes but complied and pressed my ear against the door like him, like always I went along with his antics. I felt silly and immature, spying on the courtroom like little children even though we were both sixteen.
"Are you insane?! We can't send *children* out to fight our wars!" I heard someone shout.
Leo and I turned to each other aghast. Children?
Some people shouted out also, agreeing with the man who spoke but others voiced their thoughts that went against his. All shouted at the same time so it made it hard to hear pick out a thought in particular and understand it.
"Silence!" Boomed another voice which I knew belonged to my father, King Elliot.
Almost instantly all the other voices died down. He continued, "Obviously, sending children out to help protect our country isn't ideal, let alone civil." Some people cheered and shouted their agreement but he cut them off, "But one could also argue that our country cannot defend itself with the amount of warriors it had now." Now the other side cheered. "This issue cannot be solved over night obviously. All I ask of you is to open your minds and think of every possibility from preventing this from becoming a reality. I will talk with my advisors tomorrow about this matter and inform you all of my decision in the near future."
The courtroom exploded then but my father once again silenced them. "Enough! Try to act like the civilized and well mannered diplomats that you're suppose to be. The day we, the head and heart of the country, turn on each other is the day we surrender to Nafrece!" With that the courtroom fell into a awkward silence.
The door where Leo and I were crouched down in front of was flung open, too fast for either of us to react.
The person who had opened the door sighed disapprovingly and tsked at us, "Lissa. Leo. Shouldn't you be off somewhere else?"
Both of us quickly got up and tried to cover up our shocked faces.
"Sorry father. It won't happen again." I apologize and bowed my head, Leo did the same.
"See to it that it doesn't." He said curtly but planted a loving kiss on my forehead. "Now run off before the others come out."
My father and I had always been close. I had seven other siblings but I knew I was my father's favorite. A terrible thing to say but it was true. My father had even said that losing me would be one of the worst things imaginable.
Leo and I listened and quickly fled. We were both out of breath and Leo began to say something.
"That was the most ri-"
I was jolted awake from my dream.
"Come on, princess," grunted the boy picking me up from the floor by lifting me up from my underarms. From what I could make out from the dim lighting, he was tall and muscular. I definitely would not be able to fight this guy successfully but I tried by best anyways, kicking out my legs and pounding on his back as he lifted me up over his shoulder.
"Put me down!" I shouted over and over again but the guy wasn't even phased by my words or actions.
"The more you fight back the harder you're making this on yourself," he warned me but I didn't listen.
Again, I took in my surroundings. The bombing had stopped from what I could tell and the boys who had been fighting against whoever before were now packing up their few things hurriedly and fleeing in the direction that my shrek of a captor and I were.
We walked outside into the night, but there were several small jets up and running and the guy led us over to one. He didn't even let me down to climb onto the plane myself. He just carried me on to the plane and strapped me into the seat before I could protest further.
With him and I in, another boy leapt on to the jet, slid the door closed, and signaled for us to take off. The 'pilot', if you could call him that because he looked to only be sixteen, complied and away we went. Away from what I was now positive was the giant warehouse where I had first woken up in. It was on fire, with several holes in the roof and all the walls.
I took a closer look at the boy who had joined us last minute. I recognized him. It was Jace.
"Jace!" I said and he turned to me with shocked expression, probably wondering how I knew his name. He quickly recovered though and said, "Yes, princess?"
I said as calmy as I could, "I demand to know what is going on."
Jace took in a deep breath and started, "We're Field Group 794, and our mission is to protect you at all costs."
"Field Group..." I whispered more to myself than the others. My mind was still fuzzy from my deep sleep from before, but that rang a bell. Our country reffered to the different army bases by their field group number.
I still felt uneasy though. "My... father commanded you all protect me?"
Jace paused for a second and then nodded, "Yes. At all costs. Your life is what is most valuable to us." I studied him, he didn't seem to be lying but a look in green eyes told me otherwise. I saw guilt there. But why?
"Well... thank you then. And I know my father thanks you to."
He nodded but looked away,not meeting my eyes. I took this as another oppurtunity to study him.
He was tall, at least five eleven by the way his tall frame was folded into the chair. He had olive tanned skin which went along with his dark shaggy blonde hair that was naturally highlighted with strips of lighter shades. His eyes were a light jade color, a green sort of hazel color.
His body looked tense at the moment and his eyes calculating, looking out of jet's windows. It was dark out but I could make out a few other jets flying by us. Next to us actually, like they were flanking us. I realized that Jace had been telling the truth, protecting my life was the most important mission to them.
I turned back to Jace, my eyes racking over his body again. He was good looking... Okay that was a bit of an understatement, the boy was gorgeous but totally not my type. When my eyes finally reached his, I found them to be staring back at me, a hint of amusement in them but he said nothing.
I quickly turned my head away, angling it in the direction towards one of the windows, attempting to cover my flaming cheeks with my long light blond hair. My mind quickly thought of a new worry.
"Where's Leo?" I asked Jace and the guy who had carried me earlier frantically.
"Uhh he's-" The shrek boy began.
"Andrew." Jace said sharply, giving him asteely glare. "Leo," he began slowly, "Is with our other field group. He's been taken to another secure location. You'll see him soon."
These words calmed me. "Oh thank goodness... Where exactly are you taking me?"
Jace answered, "To the caves in New Zealand. We should be safe from the Nafrece there. You having nothing to fear, princess."
"Alright, thank you. Do you know how long until we arrive?"
Andrew answered me this time, "At least twenty hours, you might want to take a nap."
"Don't have to tell me twice," I muttered as my mind slowly drifted off. I cursed body again. I wanted to stay up, get more answers but it felt as though a heavy weight was pushing down on me to sleep and my body was too weak to fight back.
"You really believe she won't find out?" I heard a male's voice whisper. I couldn't open my eyes, even if I wanted to. I was still under the blanket of sleep.
"Not if no one tells her, she won't. She's smart though so we have to be careful. Make sure no one slips up." Another voice, I knew belonged to Jace said, it almost sounded like a threat.
There was a long pause and I thought I must've fallen back asleep again but then one of them spoke up again.
"She's uhh pretty isn't she?" Andrew asked.
Jace scoffed and stated,"She's beautiful. All the more reason why we have to make sure no one has any slip ups. Her beauty is dangerous. We mustn't forget that."
I thought he was joking. Me, dangerous? I haven't ever even killed a fly let alone another human being. But I was guessing that his worry went beyond just physical being.
After that I fell back asleep, millions of questions still floating around in my head.
The blinding sun woke me up this time. I shielded my eyes as I got up. I looked out of the jet window and saw that we were now flying over beautiful green mountains and hills that stretched as far as the eye could see.
"Amazing isn't it?" A voice said from behind. I jumped a little at first but then remembered where I was and who I was with.
"It's beautiful, Jace."
"Well I'm glad you think so because this is where we'll be staying." I leaned over further in my chair, trying to see more through the window.
"Umm but I don't see any houses, let alone civilization." I told him.
He smirked slightly, "Yeah that's kind of the point. And I already we'd be staying in caves earlier. Sorry there's no lovely palaces for your highness though. I'll inform Jake next time he looks for a new place."
I glared at him, "I may be royal, but that doesn't make me stupid. I'm well aware when someone is moking me."
He put up his hands in fake surrender, "Me? Moking the princess? Oh, I would never dream of it."
Against my will, I smiled a little bit. No one ever talked to me like that except for Leo, so I actually enjoyed it. But I didn't want him to know that. "I don't like you."
"Well that'll just make this whole thing a lot easier then, won't it?" He said, still smirking. Even though I had only known him a short time I already knew that that stupid smirk hardly ever left his face.
I didn't know what he meant exactly by those words but I was tired of asking questions so I just shook my head slightly and looked back out of the window again.
Suddenly, our plane dipped down and I gripped the armrests on either side of me, digging my nails in and my breathing became shallow and heavy.
"Yeee- Haa!" I heard Andrew cry.
Being royal, I had been on countless airplanes to many countries all around the globe but that didn't mean I wasn't still terrified of them.
Jace seemed to notice my fear and gently rubbed my back. "We'll be there shortly. Plus Ben is our greatest flier so there's no reason to worry."
Darkness suddenly surrounded us and it seemed as though we had literally dove through a hole in the mountain, which according to Jace is exactly what happened.
Once inside the cave the pilot, Ben, quickly shut off the plane and pressed a button that opened the jet's doors. Jace hopped out, probably having to tend to other duties. I was eager to get out of this thing too but I was still in shocked by my earlier fear to move anywhere. I quickly learned though that this wasn't a problem.
"Up ya go, princess." Andrew said, hitching me over his back once again.
I would've fought back but my body ached too much to do so so I slumped into his arms, defeated. "What are you? My personal neanderthal?"
Instead of being offended, he laughed. "I'll be whatever you want me to be, princess."
"You don't need to call me 'princess' every time. I'd actually prefer it if you all just call me Lissa."
"Noted, prin- I mean Lissa."
"Thank you." This was a weird situation, me thanking the guy who had me thrown over his shoulder unwillingly. But I had a feeling things from here on out were going to be anything but normal.
"Alright! I want Tommie's group in the west wing, Franky's in the east. Ted, your group will be in the kitchen. John, I want your guys on look out duty. The rest of you just tried to not get yourselves killed alright?" Jace, who I discovered was their 'leader', said this last part as if it was a joke and all of them laughed along, but it made my skin ice over. They clearly weren't worried about being found or killed by the Nafrece which did make me feel a little more relaxed. Minutes after arrival everyone had come together in what they called the cave's Gathering Room, a huge and tall room basically where all of them could fit in. Andrew had told me that there was a little under two hundred of them in this field group. The hole that we had entered through had been blocked off by another huge boulder that took at least thirty of them to move, but they did it. Andrew, who had actually let me down for once to listen to this thing explained to me, "We have groups already set up so that it's easy to adapt when we go to new places." "So I'm guessing thats pretty often then?" I asked him warily He just gave me a look like, 'Ya think?' Jace continued in his loud voice, "I don't care if you hate this place or if you think it's heaven. I don't want to hear about it! We'll meet up in the cafeteria at 6 o'clock! Set your watches to 2:15 in five...four...three...two...one!" It was like watching robots, all of them pressed their watches which all looked to be the same, and a simultaneous beep echoed around the room. I was surprised to see how well they all came together, all taking responsibility for themselves and others. There had been a few grumbles here and there when Jace had mentioned all the jobs earlier, but mostly they all seemed to be willing to do whatever they were commanded to do. "And least but not least!" his voice boomed, echoing throughout the room. "We have a special guest with us... Princess?" I narrowed my eyes at him, still annoyed but now used to the way he said my title in that sarcastic way of his. The cave made it so even if I just raised my voice in the slightest, they'd all be able to hear me. "Yes, Jace?" I called back from in the most sugar-sweet voice I could manage, those who knew me well knew this was my way of secretly saying 'screw you' and Jace seemed to know this too because I saw a small smile blossom that he tried to hide. "Want to introduce yourself?" He said, that small smile now turning into a smirk. "Oh I'd be delighted to," I said still using my overly sweet tone. "I'm Princess Alissa. But all of you can call me Lissa. I'm a little confused about everything that is going on but thank you for inviting me into your... home. But most of all, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for protecting me. I honestly will never be able to thank any of you enough. Risking your lives, sho-" Jace cut me off with a simple, "It's our job." At this, I was able to look around at the room and notice how my words had made them all tense up quite a bit, giving each other silent looks that I didn't understand so I just continued, "Now which group will I be assigned to?" This helped ease the tension and the room errupted in laughter. "And by that I'm guessing you actually mean is there a group that will tend to your every need? No." I narrowed my eyes at him and said flatly, "Funny. But no, I meant which group will I be working with? Surely you don't think I plan on just sitting around while all of you, who are risking your lives, are running around doing work? Please, give me more credit." Jace smiled at me, and I could tell he still though I was kidding. One random guy in the crowd piped up, "I'm sure we could find a spot for you in the kitchen." "If you want food poisoning then sure, I'd be happy to oblige. But otherwise, no. I'm a terrible cook. I was thinking more look out duty or something, I just want to help somehow." Finally sensing that I was dead serious about this, Jace shook his head adamantly once. "No." "Well, I don't think you have the authority to me what I can and can't do." I told him smugly, crossing my arms. The rest of them seemed to be amused by this, and by the way they looked at Jace with worship in their eyes, that they thought he *did* have the authority to do so. "Hmm..." Jace just said and studied me even though we had 200 people separating us. "Please, Jace, I don't have all day and I don't think your people do either." I said even though I was pretty sure that I did in fact have all day. Maybe even whole week, or whole month or maybe even whole year... That was a depressing but real thought. I trul had no idea what was the latest deal with our war with the Nafrece and that troubled me. But I didn't want to let in any of the others of my knowledge, or lack of, of the war. It would make me look like a weak, especially weak as a ruler. "Fine," he said curtly. "You can shadow me." "You say this like it's some kind of privilege." "Trust me, I know nothing here could compete with your spoiled life style." I glared at him for what felt like the millionth time in the past 12 hours. "I'd just much rather be on my own. I don't need you to be around me 24/7 to protect me." "Wow, you sure think highly of yourself, princess. But no, I was thinking I'd have you around because you're too much of a liability around anyone else. Our jobs are extremely important and many of them require complete attention. Having you around would take some of that off and I can't allow that to happen to any of my men. So yes, either you follow me around and help me with *my job* or-" I cut him off, "And what is that exactly? Your job? Just commanding others around?" Again, he didn't seemed angry at my words, just amused. "While you wish that was true because you'd be a pro at it, no. And you'll find out soon enough what I do. So yes, either its be with me or go play in the kitchen. I don't really care which one you do just choose." "Fine," I said tightly. "I'll follow you around... Ahole."
Several of the boy spectators gasped, surprised by my crude language. Yes, I was completely poised and the 'perfect princess' when my father needed me to, but deep down I enjoyed eating with my hands, swearing, and doing my own chores even though I've always had (besides now) servants at my beck and call ready to do anything for me. I've seen other princesses. Heck, they were the only 'acceptable' friends in my royal parents' eyes but almost all of them were incredibly spoiled and looked down on everyone around them.
I hoped that the boys would soon realize this about me and that I didn't expect any royal treatment from anyone. Jace, who had been smirking at me for most of this conversation, burst into laughter. I'm talking a knee-slapping, booming laugh. I ignored the tingling sensation that it sent through my body and made my toes curl and glared at him.
"Oh, princess. You slay me with your humor."
"I'm not-" I started but he continued speaking as if I hadn't even said anything, "Ok men! Split up, and we'll meet back at 6." And with that they all dispersed. I was afraid I would get pummeled to the ground, the way they were all running frantically in every direction. I quickly learned that everything they did was frantic, as if any wasted second was going to be their demise. But they all kept their distance of at least 3 feet, as if I had a invisible forcefield around me.
I looked up at Jace, who was still on the opposite side of the room on the make shift stage (aka a tall rock). He was looking right at me, and when he noticed that he had my attention he lifted his hand and beckoned me with a finger and that damn smirk still plastered on. I sighed and sent a exasperated look to Andrew who thankfully was still standing by my side. He just shrugged his shoulders at me and mouthed, 'sorry' and took off. I trudged over to Jace and stood at the base of the rock with crossed arms.
"So, boss," I put as much sarcasm I could into that word as humanly possibly and continued, "what's on the job agenda for today?"
"You'll see," He said simply and jumped off the rock in one fluid movement and calmly walked off in the direction of one of the caves tunnels. He didn't turn around to see if I was following him so I could've made a run for it but instead I hurried after him, almost bumping into him when I reached him.
"Why do you call those boys 'men' when the most certainly are not. They're only children."
He whirled around and said, inches away from my face, in a menacing voice, "They most certainly are, princess. These 'boys' have seen more then most men have seen in their entire lifetime! You can not imagine the horrible things we have witnessed, what we've all had to do, what inhumane things we've been forced to do because of *your* Father!"
"Don't you dare say anything about my father, and more importantly your king! He is a great man, more than you'll ever be."
He just shook his head at me sadly, "Glad to know that I was correct when I assumed that they'd have you wrapped around their royal fingers."
"Shut up!" I bursted, proud that my voice was coming out just as strong as his, "You don't even know me!"
He narrowed his eyes and rested his weight on one foot, leaning slightly back and I sensed what was about to come. "Oh, I know you alright. You've been sheltered your whole life in a sparkly palace with sparkly servants and a sparkly life. And now you're here and think you're better then the rest of us."
"Jace," I said and my voice surprising soft. "I know you think you know me. I know you think I'm some royal puppet that can be easily distracted my shiny trinkets and bows, and I don't blame you for that. I truly don't, I almost understand it. I'm just hoping you'll get to see over time that that's not who I am. But I'm not going to let you talk down to me any more, especially in front of the others. I plan on ruling this country when I'm older and I won't let anyone belittle me."
For once, he had nothing to say. His mind seemed to be calcutlating something, his face thoughtful. "Let's go," he said and started off again.
I stayed still with my feet rooted to the same spot, refusing to follow him unless he agree to at least respect me. "I was serious about what I said Jace."
He paused before answering, "I know... I'm- I'm sorry." His voice seemed to struggle on that word, like he seldom used it.
"Don't be, like I said, I somewhat expected those thoughts of me from all of you."
He flinched at my words and his shoulders slumped forward, "I'm sorry." He said again.
I smiled at him and without even realizing it, reached out to touch his arm but snatched it back before I actually touched him.
"Let's go," I said echoing him from before and walked in the direction that I thought we were headed.
I heard him following me. "Wrong way, princess Lis."
I smiled to myself, geuinely smiling, for what felt like the first time in forever. 'Princess Lis', I thought. No one else dared to call me that, I had always told Leo not to call me Lis, and everyone else I knew. But with Jace, I found that didn't mind it so much when it was coming from his lips.
'Watch yourself,' something inside me called out.
"Well it's not my fault, you have more tunnels in here than the Underground Railroad."
I saw him shurg in the dim lighting. "It's similar, in some sorts. In trying to be hidden away from them." I didn't have to ask who 'them' was. The Nafreece.
"Lead the way," I told him, gesturing with hands.
He cracked out a smile, "Why do I have a feeling you don't say that too often?"
"Hah hah. Are we going to go see to your 'job' or not?" I told him, raising my eye brows, not surprised how we had eased back so easily into banter that I felt we would share more of in the future.
"Let's go," He said.
"Ugh, how many more times do we have to say that before we actualy go?"
He chuckled, "Come on, he said and jerked his head in the right direction.
"So," I asked him once we had been walking for what felt like at least five minutes, "what is it that you do exactly?"